Construction set to begin
on new $57 million CDC lab
Heavy construction is slated to begin this week on the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention's new $57 million laboratory, but CDC officials said
Emory employees can expect "minimal" disruption along Clifton
The new lab, a 182,000-square-foot facility that will encompass state-of-the-art
laboratory and office space for some 285 employees, should be finished by
December 1999, according to George Chandler, CDC special assistant for facilities.
"The construction is on the interior of the existing CDC campus,
along with the staging area, so we don't anticipate any overflow onto nongovernment
property," Chandler said. "There probably will be some congestion
issues with deliveries-cement trucks, construction materials, that type
of thing-but we're going to try to time that as much as possible to be before
the morning peak hours, and all the construction materials will be stored
In fact, some vehicular traffic could actually be reduced since the CDC
will lose the use of about 400 parking spaces for the duration of the project.
Those employees will park off-site and be transported to the main campus
by shuttle bus, Chandler said.
Earle Whittington, Emory senior project manager for planning and construction,
said he is not familiar with the exact details of the construction plans,
but he did say he and the campus master planners have worked with CDC officials
and are taking future growth of the organization into account in the master
"We're trying to do everything we can to reduce the traffic on Clifton
in anticipation that we know the CDC is going to increase the number of
cars in that corridor," Whittington said. "The only thing we can
do is everything we can; we can't deal with their traffic."
Chandler said he has tried to keep Emory informed of the CDC's growth
plans, and because the CDC is a government organization, he is required
to do so. He added that under the National Environmental Policy Act, the
CDC must consider major growth plans of neighboring large organizations
when drawing up any major expansion plans of its own.
"Actually, we've been working with Emory for quite some time to
try to coordinate some issues, mainly traffic, but also just things like
'What are you planning? What are we planning? What are the future directions?'"
Chandler said. "We have a good relationship with Emory, and the University's
been very cooperative in working with us on these things. We will continue
The new CDC lab is the first of a two-phase expansion project, though
the second phase has not secured funding approval yet. If approved, the
second phase would add another 92,000 square feet of space.
"This is allowing us to decompress some of our existing facilities,"
Chandler said of the expansion. "We haven't had a new lab here since
1986, but we have been growing, and there's all kinds of issues today stemming
from infectious diseases. CDC's on the cutting edge of that, and this will
allow us to get some folks out of our existing, overcrowded facilities into
a modern, state-of-the-art lab. It will just give us a little bit of breathing
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